It's "Friday Fly Day," but no flies today.
They're in a "no-fly zone."
That's because of the freezing temperatures. Jack Frost is nipping at assorted noses, leaves are dropping like flies, and cups are overflowing with hot chocolate.
Meanwhile, here's an image BEFORE the freeze. A honey bee is nectaring on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotunidfola, while a fly seeks a share.
The honey bee? Apis mellifera. The fly? "Sarcophagid flesh fly and the genus I do know but it is probably a Miltogramminae, a satellite fly," said forensic entomologist Robert "Bob" Kimsey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. "They are mostly parasites."
Happy No-Fly Day!
It's Friday Fly Day and time to post a syrphid fly with a butterfly.
The occasion: a syrphid fly and the Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) or passion butterfly are sharing a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifola, and neither seems bothered that the other is there.
Holes in the petals indicate that another insect, perhaps a spotted cucumber beetle, had been there.
The Mexican sunflower is like a giant floral billboard in a pollinator garden.
"Hey, insects, here I am. Come visit me. I have pollen and nectar for you. I just ask for your pollination services. I can't give you a hug or a certificate of appreciation or even a participation trophy, but I can give you a thank you in the form of free pollen and nectar. That's your reward. And tell all your friends that I am here. I am the billboard in the pollinator garden."
Happy Friday Fly Day.
'Tis "Friday Fly Day" (also known as #Fridayflyday in the Twitter world), and it's almost Halloween.
So why not combine the two with a common drone fly, Eristalis tenax, nectaring on a pumpkin-orange Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifola?
To the untrained eye, the drone fly is often mistaken for a honey bee. Both, however, are pollinators.
But the larva of the drone fly is known as a rattailed maggot and feeds off bacteria in drainage ditches, manure or cess pools, sewers and the like. Unlike a honey bee, the drone fly has one set of wings, large eyes, stubby antennae, and a distinguishing "H" on its abdomen.
The drone fly will still be hanging around when Halloween arrives, but how many costumes have you seen glorifying the drone fly? The honey bee, yes! But a drone fly? No.
To be a fly on Friday, what a day!
Entomologists who came up with "Friday Fly Day" are having a lot of fun posting images on social media of flies on Friday.
If you access WikiHow, "What to Do on a Friday Night," you'll find all kinds of suggestions. For instance:
- Watch a movie (that's do-able)
- Challenge friends to a game night (does anybody play games any more?)
- Treat yourself to a spa at home (a spa?)
- Give yourself a makeover (a what?)
- Cook a nice meal (how nice is nice?)
- Treat yourself to cocktail (some of us prefer coffee or water)
- Read a book or a magazine (did that, already)
- Start a new hobby (who has the time? Other hobbies are failing)
- Pamper your pet (he's already pampered; he has his own Facebook page, Vito and His Friends)
- Throw a karaoke or dance party (the neighbors would not like that)
- Work on an artistic or crafty project (some of us are crafty but not artistic)
- Start a bonfire (not in California!)
- Do something physically active (stationary bikes are good)
- and on and on and on....
Nowhere, but nowhere, does it say to take an image of a fly on Friday.
It doesn't have to be a fly on a wall. It can be a fly on a flower. But it has to be a fly on a Friday.
This one is a syrphid fly, aka flower fly or hover fly (and often mistaken for a honey bee) foraging on a blanket flower, or Gaillardia.
Gaillardia, a genus in the sunflower family, Asteraceae, is named for an 18th century French magistrate/botanist, Maître Gaillard de Charentonneau.
Maître Gaillard de Charentonneau, no doubt, never observed Friday Fly Day but being a botanist, he probably loved pollinators.
Cheers to a syrphid fly on "his" flower. (Well, it is a pollinator)
Have you ever seen a freeloader fly trying to sneak a meal?
Since it's Friday Fly Day--and the best things in life are free, aren't they?--it's time to post an image of a freeloader fly.
So here's the story: a praying mantis was polishing off the remains of a honey bee, and uninvited dinner guests--freeloader flies (family Milichiidae, probably genus Desmometopa)--showed up. This genus includes more than 50 described species, according to Wikipedia.
Another time, a spider snagged a honey bee, and freeloaders arrived just in time to chow down. "Call me anything you like but don't call me late to dinner." They bring nothing to contribute to the meal except their appetites.
So did the predators chase away the freeloader flies? No. Absolutely not. Apparently they're too tiny a morsel to eat, and the freeloaders don't eat much. (See BugGuide.net's images of them.
Happy Friday Fly Day!